Even with China Unicom basically confirming that they are absolutely talking with Apple, the future of the iPhone in China is still anyone’s guess. That’s because the company from Cupertino has two choices for who it should throw its precious little moneymaker into.
Confusing? Probably, if you’re new to this tango. See here for our quick iPhone run down. Basically the iPhone’s prospects look like this:
Suitor A: China Mobile. Sure, it’s the world’s largest mobile carrier but it’s also probably the world’s most demanding. It’s already asked for a stripped down version of the phone and it’s currently doing battle over the iTunes payment system.
Or Suitor B: China Unicom. It’s much smaller, but it’s also eager and willing and happens to also have the official go-ahead to use the world’s most adopted 3G standard (WCDMA) in China – which incidentally, is the standard on which the current iPhone runs.
It’s a delightful debacle even the most experienced of lovers would have trouble extrapolating themselves from. Which is why the latest from Caijing strikes us as peculiar.
The article states:
China Unicom chairman Chang Xiaobing told reporters March 6 that the company is evaluating a wide range of handset providers with an eye towards introducing phones that will be “beneficial to the development of 3G, including the iPhone and even the GPhone,” referring to Google Inc’s third-generation offering.
This is brilliant reporting by our books considering that today is March 5. Who knew the end of this love story would be so soon?
If Caijing is right, we iPhone 3G owners will actually have a real network to hook our phones to tomorrow! But we’re placing bets that this drama will continue its course for months to come.
Image by Wesley Fryer